Wednesday Writing Prompts X

1. Write a story that describes its imagery using terms specific to some other form of art (i.e. describe it as you would describe a painting, point out and talk about brush strokes, the way colors blend into one another, etc.) Describe people in terms of instruments, tools, methods, strokes or musical notes– make the effect pervasive, all encompassing, constant.

2. Look at the ceiling where you are. Truly consider it, study it, and think about what it would be like if it was suddenly your floor, if suddenly your own personal gravity (and nothing else’s) were reversed! What would life be like on the ceiling? Would you have tea parties? Panic uncontrollably? Contemplate mantras of zen buddhism? How would this sudden change in gravity effect your personal life?

3. Write a story where love is created and maintained over a distance. The length and nature of that distance is up to you. It could be the distance between two continents, two cities, or even just between two windows or two rooftops. What lies between, physically and metaphorically? What are the barriers that must be overcome? Are they overcome?

4. Some of the most provocative, interesting, disturbing, and downright experimental works out there take a very different and very interesting look at sex. Try writing a story that approaches sex in a way the reader would not expect, but that still retains interest. You can do it by allusion, teasing, putting other words in, leading the reader to a wholly different situation altogether than they were expecting, yanking the viewer away at the last second, or anything else creative you can think of.

5. Think of the most beautiful and/or interesting place you’ve ever been to and then set a story there. It doesn’t have to be the exact place (i.e. Tahoe, Vegas, Yellowstone, etc.) it can be a place that only exists in your mind, or even a place you’ve only seen before in pictures. Be creative, feel free to set any scene there, and remember– the only limits are the limits you impose on your own creativity.

6. Revisit the atrocities of the past in a story. You can either write it as a historical fiction (i.e. something that happens in the period in which the atrocity was practiced– like slavery, etc.) or as something that’s happening in a different form (with obvious corollaries) today, or in a future setting.

7. Poke fun at a current social or political issue by taking the opposite stance from what you feel and using that side’s own wit (or lack thereof) and “evidence” to undermine the position utterly. Many authors, including Johnathan Swift and Alexander Pope, have taken this same approach in many of their most famous works. It’s effective, it’s funny, and it makes a great way to get your point across while cross examining the validity of your own views.

8. Try writing in a situation or mindset when you would never normally write because you feel like too much of what you write would be garbage (i.e. when you’re really tired, when you’re drunk, etc.) Don’t just write a little, write a lot. Then, put it aside for about a week. Once the week has passed, pick it up again and look through it for nuggets of wisdom to use in your next story. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find!

9. Write a medical triage scene. It can take place anywhere, at any point in the history or past (to the thundering of civil war muskets, under the suppressive blasts of photon cannons, or in the ER of modern day Detroit, etc.) Make the action everpresent, put the feeling of running and rushing into the story, and try to capture the way everything is frantically performed while still being powerful, exact and professional. Or, write about off-hour, and try to capture the lazy boredom experienced by people who know that at any minute, a dozen ambulances could cram into their doorways with payloads of patients in critical condition.

10. Write a story that you are several times removed from. Write a tale of an author, who’s writing a tale about an author, who is also writing a tale about an author. The challenge? Making it comprehensible, interesting, and just the right amount of complex.

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